FIJI for the first time will be able to export ginger to Australia, a move that can boost Fiji's ginger export market by $3 million.
This was revealed yesterday by Biosecurity Authority of Fiji chief executive officer Elvis Silvestrini who described the new market access for fresh ginger as a feat for Fiji.
"Fiji currently exports more than 830,000kgs of ginger worth about $6 million annually and this additional market will boost export earnings further providing a significant trade benefit," he said.
Mr Silvestrini said though it was difficult to pin a number on how much income the new market would generate, BAF hoped it would end up in the area of $8 million to $49 million in the next few years. He said this would depend on the demand and the markets for fresh and processed ginger.
However, Mr Silvestrini said Australia's final import risk analysis for Fiji ginger had identified the yam scale and burrowing nematode as quarantine pests of concern that need to be managed.
"The Australian authorities have identified pests of concern and we need to work with them on that," he said. "Together with the AusAID-funded Pacific Horticultural and Agricultural Market Access PHAMA we are developing a handbook and in-field training program that will assist farmers and exporters meet conditions set by the Australian authorities."
Mr Silvestrini said with the new agreements, Fiji could see her first batch of ginger exports soon.
"We are hoping to get our consignments away at the end of the year but we are very focused on getting our growers up to speed with the conditions required of them by Australia," he added.
Fiji currently exports 1500 tonnes of processed ginger annually mainly to New Zealand, Canada and the US.